“GI” Joe Phillips was born and raised in Detroit, Michigan. He holds a B.S. from Excelsior College and an M.A. in Russian Studies from Middlebury College. In 2009, he retired from the U.S. Army after nearly 23 years of service.
GI began his career as an infantry soldier in the 10th Mountain Division. The discipline and leadership skills gained in those early days served him well in later military assignments and academic pursuits. He found his niche in foreign languages and spent the remainder of his military career expanding, honing, and using those skills in international program management, recruiting, diplomacy, and arms control.
As a four-time honor graduate of the Defense Language Institute, upon retirement from the army, GI easily transitioned to civilian life by returning to his alma mater as an Assistant Professor of Russian where he was twice honored with the Provost’s Teaching Excellence Award. He taught enlisted and commissioned soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines for nearly four years before coming to Check-6 in September of 2013.